Week 10 – 5/3/1 – Day 36

Cycle #3

Overall, I felt much better coming into the workout today.  I read something very inspiring while I was perusing the net at work today.  It was an article by none other than Jim Wendler himself.  It was quite refreshing to read because I’ve been experiencing subtle whispers in my head telling me that I need to cut down on my eating and start doing some more cardio to get that six pack ab.  I guess I should expect it considering summer’s finally here.  The title of the article is “Time to Man Up”.  When I first read it, I had a resounding thought of “F*CK YEAH” in my head and I got really amped.

Deadlift:  5×115, 5×140, 3×175 + 3×205, 3×235, 5×265

I had business socks on.  Probably looked a bit silly, but it saved my shins a bit.  I did manage to rip off a scab from my previous deadlift session, so that was no fun, but didn’t really affect me much.  I used my belt on the last set and had an alternating grip.  Form felt great- I didn’t feel any stress on the lower back.  I think the feeling I can best describe is that I was trying to separate the floor, contracting the glutes and driving my heels into the ground while lifting the bar close to the body.  Once the bar reached my knees, I drove my hips forward aggressively.

Boring But Big 70%

Squat: 3×135, 3×155, 1×185 + 7/5/5/5/4 x 205

These felt considerably more confident compared to last time.  What I didn’t like though was that my right wrists were buckled while my left were in line with my forearm.  This needs to be fixed for Friday’s squat.

Ab Wheel:  10/5/5/5/5

These were pretty difficult.  I had put quite a lot more effort in my assistance squat lift today so my mind and body were pretty fried at this point.

Treadmill:  10% incline + 3min. warm-up @ 3.0 spd, 2 sets of 1min. 5.0 speed jog / 1min. 3.0 speed rest

Week 9 – 5/3/1 – Day 32

Cycle #3

Made a mistake and did week 3 weights at 3×5.  Pretty sure I almost tore my left arm off.  I anticipated squats to be fairly difficult and so I used my Inzer lever belt.  I managed to only do 5 reps on each set before gassing out.

Deadlift:  5×115, 5×140, 3×175 + 5×200, 5×240, 3×275

Very heavy.  Shins took a beating.  Used alternating grip on 2nd and 3rd set.  Left shoulder socket felt like it almost separated from my body at one point.

Boring But Big 70%

Squat: 3×135, 3×165, 1×185 + 5x5x200

These didn’t get me breathing heavy, but they were difficult and I couldn’t get to 10 reps on each set.  Had I actually tried to go the distance on each set, I’d probably have taken a much harder beating.  I also tried something different and instead of lifting my elbows, I tried to keep them underneath the bar close to perpendicular to the ground.  I felt my shoulder blades squeeze much harder.  There was less trap involvement because when I raised my elbow I would end up squeezing my traps really hard.  My torso also felt much more upright which was a relief because usually when the bar gets heavy I end up leaning over too much to the point where my torso is close to parallel with the ground making it very difficult to avoid doing a good morning on the way up.  Noticed that my right hand was buckling once fatigue started setting which put my wrist in an unfavorable position.  The loss of proper position in the right hand caused my biceps and lats to compensate for the compromised hand position.

Ab Wheel:  10/8/8

These were easier than I had expected at the time.  Little to no lower back pain.

Week 4 – 5/3/1 – Day 14

Cycle #1

Treadmill walk 5min + Agile 8  It got pretty hot today.  I was sweating a lot during the agile 8.  Didn’t get around to doing DeFranco’s set of upper body dynamic stretches.

Deadlift:  5×110, 5×135, 5×165

These felt heavier than I expected them to be.  Really felt the burn when I squeezed everything hard at the top.  A little bit of lower back strain felt.

Boring But Big 50%

Squat: 5x10x135

As usual, deadlift+squat days suck…a lot.  I’m simply not accustomed to the high intensity squatting.  First 2 sets were easy, but cardiovascularly, I was pretty spent.  Took ample rest between each set afterwards.  I also didn’t eat before lifting- I had left work early and wanted to hit the gym early so I could find a parking spot when I got back home.

Ab Wheel:  10/10/8/5/2

I was pretty much spent by the time I got to these.  Fatigue set in and I couldn’t keep a rigid lower back.  I felt my lower back buckling and entering an unfavorable lordotic position.  I’ve already had issues with this in the past and so I chose not to exert myself too much.  Nonetheless, still got a fairly good core workout.

Additional Notes:

Did not eat my 4th meal prior to the exercise.

Week 3 – 5/3/1 – Day 10

Cycle #1

Treadmill walk 5min + Agile 8  Hips are noticeably more flexible.  The mountain climbers are much easier; this dynamic stretch along with the groiners still gets me sweating and breathing quickly, but definitely not as exhausting compared to when I first started doing them.

Deadlift:  5×125, 3×150, 2×175 + 5×205, 3×230, 1×260

I got my numbers right this time, woohoo!  I banged up my left shin good pulling the bar against them.  Important technique change that helped alleviate a lot of lower back stress was narrowing my grip width.  I noticed that having my grip width about 2 inches wider was causing me to pull un-perpendicular to the floor.  Narrowing my grip helped to reduce strain on my lower back and actually got me to lift much more efficiently.

Boring But Big 50%

Squat: 5x10x135

First 3 sets got me tired.  I rested a bit longer prior to my 4th and 5th sets.  Noticed that the bar was, again, rolling up on my lower back.  Eventually on the last few reps, the bar is almost in high bar position and part of the bar ends up resting on my right trap.  I feel as though I’m using more of my left trap and not enough of my right.  Right shoulder injury may be causing me to lose flexibility in the right arm- I really don’t know…

Ab Wheel:  10/7/7

Felt much stronger on these today than previous ab wheel sessions.  Also…forgot to do two additional sets, doh!

Treadmill 1 mile @ 3.0

Week 2 – 5/3/1 – Day 6

Cycle #1

Treadmill walk 5min + Agile 8  These continue to get me pretty gassed fairly quickly.

Deadlift:  5×115, 3×145, 2×175 + 3×190, 3×215, 3×245

Just realized that I used week 1 weights.  Fudge. Packer.

Boring But Big 50%

Squat: 5x10x135

First and second set was got me exhausted.  The subsequent sets were much easier.  I think I might record these assistance squats to see how my form does when I’m fatigued.  Since the weight is lighter, I definitely feel less load on my lower back.  I definitely feel my abs getting worked when pushing out of the hole.

Ab Wheel:  10/7/6/5/4

My back sort of bothered me when doing these.  I feel like my back is arching instead of maintaining rigidness.

Week 1 – 5/3/1 – Day 2

Cycle #1

Today’s workout was grueling.  I decided that since I just started a new routine and the weights are relatively light to what I’ve been working on that I would forgo using supplements until the lifts get a bit heavier.  I felt pretty exhausted by the end of the Boring But Big 5x10x135 squats.  I got lightheaded for the first time in a very very long time.  The squats themselves were easy, but I definitely don’t think my body was acclimated

Agile 8  I was curious to see what type of dynamic stretching and/or warm-up I should be performing seeing as how I no longer squat at the beginning of every workout session.  Going straight into lifting deadlifts without proper warm-up or stretching, in my opinion, would be a very poor choice and prone to getting one injured.  I managed to find the “Agile 8” warm-up/stretch routine.  I was quite happy about performing the stretches- it’s always fun to learn and do something new.  Managed to work up a good sweat doing the stretches.  The glute/piriformis myofacial release didn’t seem to do much for me even though it’s probably one of the more painful stretches of the eight.  The groiners were a pretty good way of gauging my flexibliity.

Deadlift:  5×190, 5×215, 5×245

Used alternating grip on the last set.  Weight is still relatively light, but it was a bit challenging.  Lower back was hurting a bit afterwards.


Squat: 5x10x135 – These were pretty brutal.  The actual lifting action wasn’t bad at all.  I had good depth and squatted somewhat explosively from the hole.  However, after each set, I was very fatigued and out of breath.  These sets felt more like high intensity cardio if anything.  One thing I noticed that bothered me quite a bit was my low-bar bar positioning.  I had never noticed it before, but I think this may be why I’m having slight muscle imbalances in my upper back and arms.  After thinking about it for a while, I came to the realization that my left side wasn’t being fully engaged in a low bar position.  It seems as though I continually shift the bar ever so slightly until the bar ends up resting on my left trap while my right side is still somewhat engaged in the low bar position.  This, of course, can also attribute to why I feel like my torso is twisting when I go down.  I think what I’m going to do for the next squat workout is to lower the bar’s starting pin height so I can really dig the bar low on my upper back.  I need to make sure I focus on keeping the upper back tight to avoid having the bar shift up.

Ab Wheel:  10/6/5/5/5 – These are hard as hell.  In addition to having to keep a tight core, my arms ended up being worked pretty hard as well.